36. Labor Party VI

Back to school, back to school, to prove to Ze’ol I’m not a fool. The HORSE house needs help and we have the pledges to clean it up. Inara does a 180 wall ride. Tracey gets claustrophobic. Johnny serves up darkness.

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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Johnny B. Goodlight: Michael Fische

- Creative Contributors: Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, Heddy Hunt

- Multitude: multitude.productions

About Us

Join the Party is a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast. That means four friends create a story together, chapter by chapter, that everyone from seasoned players to true beginners can enjoy. Where else can you get adventure, intrigue, magic, drama, and lots of high fives all in one place? Right here.

After each episode we sit down for the Afterparty, where we break down our game and answer your questions about how to play Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games at home. We also have the Punchbowl, an interview series with people pushing D&D forward creatively, communally and socially. It’s a party, and you’re invited! Find out more at jointhepartypod.com.


Amanda: Last time on Join the Party…

Eric: We go to the opera! Or we get cajoled into being in the opera!

Eric (as Paige): Does anyone know how to sing?

Eric: But first, we run into Greg, who is not happy to see our party. That’s fine, because Tracey is not excited to see Greg.

Eric (as Greg): Tracey, do you have something to say?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I said you’re being an unapologetic, unempathetic jerk.

Eric: But back to the opera. Johnny survives an attack from a rope and fleshes out his bit part.

Michael: He is injured, blood coming out of him… because of the blood packs.

Eric: Tracey reads his line perfectly and Inara is a revelation as the butt of a manticore. She also fights the costume while inside the costume, which is as good as you think it is.

Amanda: Hopefully surprisingly - I don’t know if this muse expects an attack from inside its own butt.

Eric: There’s nowhere to go now. Might as well take some classes and learn something. Let’s get the party started.

[theme music]

[air conditioner humming]

Brandon: Tracey slams the playbill down on the desk next to the compass.

Brandon (as Tracey): Let’s just cut to the chase here.

Eric (as Ze'ol): Oh hello- no one says hello anymore?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, that’s the part that we can skip over, man.

[Eric laughs]

Eric (as Ze'ol): That’s fine… okay. Hello. Yes, that’s good, you did it! I heard great reviews. You were all very, very talented. I’m so proud of you.

Michael (as Johnny): Okay…

Brandon (as Tracey): What did the reviews say? Was… anyone mention my name…?

Michael (as Johnny): No, Tracey, no, no, no.

Brandon (as Tracey): No? Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey, never read them. It’s better for your mental health.

Eric (as Ze'ol): Two more trials to go. It’s fine, okay. Go on- what do you want to do next? It’s fine. It’s fine.

Amanda (as Inara): The fact that you’re saying “It’s fine” so much leads me to believe that it probably isn’t fine, but this is within sight. Madame Speaker, any help for us here? This is getting exhausting.

Eric: Inara, you look around, as you assume the Speaker is sitting in her usual chair as she was, and she’s not there.

Amanda (as Inara): Well that’s embarrassing.

Eric: Bridge didn’t return to his spot as well. There’s no one else in the dome other than you three and the compass.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uhhhh, guys? Where did everyone go?

Michael (as Johnny): I’m assuming Bridge is hanging out with Greg, but Ze’ol, where’s the Speaker?

Eric (as Ze'ol): She’s also hanging out with Greg.

Michael (as Johnny): I think that’s not true.

Eric (as Ze'ol): Ah!

Amanda (as Inara): The Speaker’s never hung out in her life.

Eric (as Ze'ol): I don’t know, she said that she stepped out to get some air and then I haven’t seen her since. Who can say?

Brandon (as Tracey): For a compass, you’re really bad at lying.

Eric (as Ze'ol): I am… first of all, hurtful. She said she had to go get some air, it’s fine! I just let her go where she wants to go! Also, I’m literally the god of - I’m only the god of time and dying, so -

Brandon (as Tracey): Not of lying.

Eric (as Ze'ol): So, I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about.

Michael: Can I roll Insight as to-

Eric: Yes.

Michael: Thank you.

[dice rolling]

I got a 17.

Eric: I rolled a 7 and even though I gave it +9 you still beat me.

[all laughing]

Amanda: Oh no!

Michael: I know he’s lying but I also want to like catch him.

Eric: Yeah, you know for a fact that he’s lying.

Michael: J’accuse!

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, that’s clearly a lie and I think we both know that we know it’s a lie, and I think I know that you know that I know-

Amanda (as Inara): That we know-

Michael (as Johnny): It’s a lie. And that we all know it’s a lie and that that dice roll I just did says it’s a lie. So, what happened?

Eric: The compass spins its hands a few times as if it’s shrugging. It goes from East to West and East to West.

Eric (as Ze'ol): I don’t know, maybe she had some business with some of the other gods. I - she doesn’t work for me, so-

Michael (as Johnny): We’re trying to get all of this done, and we’re all really tired, and I saw what happened when she placed her hand on you.

Eric (as Ze'ol): You were spying on me?!

Michael (as Johnny): So-

Eric (as Ze'ol): Young man!

Amanda (as Inara): No, no, I just forgot something, so we went back for a s econd. It was my… uh, cigarettes…

[all laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara! You didn’t- you can’t smoke! It’s very bad for your health!

Amanda: I’m staring at Tracey.

Brandon (as Tracey): You can get lung cancer! You could get emphysema! You can-

Michael: Ah, stupid jokes.

Brandon (as Tracey): I have this pamphlet here for you that’s-

Michael: Of course, you have pamphlets.

Eric: Roll for Deception just ‘cause.

Michael: Oh god, and this is the god of lying!

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 18 + 3 for a 21.

Brandon: Whoa!

[Michael laughing]

Eric: You’re lucky also, the DC for that was extremely high and you beat it.

Eric (as Ze'ol): Oh, uh well I agree with our warforged friend. It’s bad for your health. You can’t grow big and strong like your good friend Ze’ol.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, you know, I-

Brandon (as Tracey): You’re a compass!

Eric (as Ze'ol): I am an unfathomable being that helped create the world in which we all exist, but currently I am a compass.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, compass.

Michael (as Johnny): And you’re really good at creating problems.

Eric (as Ze'ol): That is literally why I came into being. You know what I’m gonna - I’ll do this for you. I will look into my godly contacts and see where she went. I’ll take care of that for you. You guys go - you go over to those HORSE stables, they need you.

Michael: Could I like look for Divination specific to her stuff?

Eric: Make an Arcana check.

Michael: 13 + 5 is 18.

Eric: With an 18, you still sense the presence of the Speaker in the dome, but you don’t know where her magic is coming rom.

Michael: Interesting.

Eric: You can’t center on a particular point.

Michael (as Johnny): Well… I’ve not done anything. I’ve just been standing here calmly, so I’m just gonna go through this portal now.

Michael: And I’m rushing off because I just want to see what happens with the Arcana. I want to go. I want out.

Amanda: Inara casts Mage Hand and uses it to flick the compass about four inches to the left on the desk.

Eric: Here’s what happens. Ze’ol says

Eric (as Ze'ol): Ouch. That hurt. That was hurtful. Ouchie.

Amanda: Inara shrugs and walks backwards through the portal.

Eric: And you actually flip the compass over. You get a good look at the back of the compass.

Amanda: Oh!

Eric: There is a picture of a key etched into the back of the compass. And you’re starting to get a good look at it. It’s an ornate key, it has like three teeth and on the handle, there are three ornate triangles that are put together to make a triangle.

Amanda: With her Mage Hand, Inara is going to flip it back over, pat it on the face, and then walk backward through the portal.

Eric: As the portal opens [pneumonic metal door opening sound] you hear the crisp wind of a new fall day.

[Upbeat, bouncing electronic music begins]

[wind blowing, leaves rustling]

Brandon: Tracey boldly steps through the portal.

Eric: [laughing] Good. Alright, with the Arcane Eye, the compass just sits there for a minute, like it’s waiting to make sure that you’re gone. And then it starts to shake and roll on its own like something is fighting literally internally inside of the compass, and before anything else dramatic happens, the connection cuts out.

Michael: Cool.

Eric: You know, it’s actually fitting that it is fall, because you are standing outside of a massive frat house.

Amanda: Oh no! Is HORSE a fraternity?

Michael: I put on my hazmat suit.

Eric: Welcome to the house of Eta Omicron Rho Sigma Epsilon!

Amanda: Nooooo!

Eric: The all centaur fraternity at University of Chronopolis! U-Chron! As you’re standing outside, a centaur comes bounding out from the front door.

Amanda: Oh no.

Eric: He says

Eric (as centaur): Ah yeah! We got new recruits! Come on inside.

[music stops]

Michael: [singing] Studious at day and party at night, University of Chron, fight, fight, fight! We win all the sports and we get- pass all our tests. University of-

Amanda: [singing] and we dress in layers because the climate is a mess!

Michael: There!

Eric: Ay!


Michael: Nice fight song.

Eric: Let’s go crons, let’s go crons, let’s go crons!

Okay, so the HORSE house is two stories, it’s very stately. There are columns surrounding everything. The angle of the roof is giving a ton of shade from the dappled fall sunlight that’s coming down. The facade is pretty unadorned. There’s no carvings or writings. As I said, there are nude uncapped columns that support the pediment in the front that creates and area the frat uses, of course as a porch space.

On the porch, you see some empty kegs, a collection of lawn animals that are likely stolen from other houses, and a place for a game of horseshoes. But there are two very important differences. This frat house is made entirely of dark volcanic rock, and you can’t see any windows from the outside.

Amanda: Oh good.

Michael: Johnny’s gonna put on his most bro-y outfit. I’m wearing a kimono anyway over it, but it actually like-

[Eric laughs]

Amanda: That’s very morning after a frat party look.

Brandon: Guys, I’m literally a cop.

[all laughing]

Like this is not gonna go well.

Eric: You know, if someone asks you if you’re a cop, you have to tell them.

Brandon: I have to tell them.

Eric: So, as you are standing outside of the frat house, the centaur calls to you three from the porch and says

Eric (as centaur): Ah, you guys the new recruits?!

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh… no? Yes?

Eric (as centaur): I feel like if you’re gonna be pledges here at HORSE, you should probably know better.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, uh- I…

Brandon (as Tracey): I… guess?

Amanda (as Inara): Yes…

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes.

Amanda (as Inara): That is us…

Eric (as centaur): Alright, cool. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. You can come closer, it’s fine.

Brandon: Tracey takes one step forward.

[Eric laughs]

He’s a little nervous.

Michael: Johnny goes up and says

Michael (as Johnny): Hey, fellow frat guy.

Michael: And goes for a high five.

Eric (as centaur): Ah nice! What up, bro? Slap. I’m not very good at high fives so I have to emphasize them by saying the word slap.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey, no problem. I can teach you how to do cool high fives.

Eric (as centaur): Oh nice, nice, nice. Whatup, my name’s Onion. I’m the frat pledge master. I did not know that we were gonna have anybody new here in the springtime during spring break, but I’m so glad that you’ve decided to join up with HORSE.

Brandon: Tracey has his hand up for a high five.

Eric (as Onion): Ah, nice, another high five. Slap.

[Brandon laughs]

Michael (as Johnny): Um, it’s fall.

Eric (as Onion): Oh, no, no, no it’s spring. It’s spring break.

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, of course it’s spring break. I knew that. Hey, you got any…

Brandon (as Tracey): The leaves though, you see the -?

Eric (as Onion): Listen, just because the weather is kinda doing its own thing doesn’t mean that we can’t stay directly on top of the academic calendar.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah!

Eric (as Onion): That’s the only thing that governs all of our parties, bruh.

Brandon: The academic calendar?!

Michael: [laughing] The academic calendar?

Eric: Yeah!

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, that totally makes sense. Hey, you got any cool cleaning that needs to happen?

Eric (as Onion): Aw man, you are so - This guy! This guy just jumps out, he wants punishment! I love it.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey, that’s the true frat way, man. Yeah.

Eric (as Onion): Extremely good okay, we’re gonna… I mean, we were just about to make all of the pledges go down and clean our stables.

Amanda (as Inara): That sounds like a great job for us, actually.

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean, it seems like hazing and probably against the rules of the University, but…

Amanda (as Inara): Hey… zing…

Amanda: Inara holds up her hand for a high five.

[all snickering]

Brandon: Tracey doesn’t know what he’s done.

Eric: Onion turns to Inara and says

Eric (as Onion): Pledge, we take hazing extremely seriously here. It is obviously forbidden by the college rules to do any sort of hazing or bringing people along and intimidating them. We just kind of do things as favors…

Amanda (as Inara): Right.

Eric (as Onion): To us.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah.

Eric (as Onion): Pledge.

Amanda (as Inara): Understood. If you wanted me to do you the favor of cleaning out your stables, I would do that.

Eric (as Onion): Cool, cool, I’m glad we’re all on the same page.

Brandon: [whispering] I do actually really love cleaning.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey you have any cans of Artificial Darkness I can chug before we go do this?

[Amanda laughing]

Eric (as Onion): That’s so weird - Artificial Darkness, that’s my favorite beer!

Michael (as Johnny): It’s that porter that just goes down so smooth but it’s so light.

Eric (as Onion): This guy… there will be plenty of time for drinking. You’re over 21, right?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes. I’m significantly older than 21.

Eric (as Onion): Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, I just had to ask that because we’re standing outside the house.

Brandon (as Tracey): Cool. Cool, cool, cool, cool.

Eric (as Onion): Cool, cool, cool, uh yeah come on inside.

[door squeaks shut]

Eric: So, he walks in and he’s like

Eric (as Onion): Yo, McHugh, I know that you were worried about me being the pledge master, but I got it! Two of them seem to be continuing education students which is very cool, and this is sort of a welcoming place to be!

Eric: So inside, you just see one floor. A lot of the first floor is actually just one large room, and it’s divided with makeshift walls and they’ve been painted and repainted, just without concern for color or style or whatever the paint was before.

Michael: But as long as it doesn’t reach the ceiling, it doesn’t break any health codes.

Eric: Exactly.

Michael: And zoning laws.

Eric: There are portraits of other notable centaurs in the frat’s long history.

Brandon: What are some of the names of the highly regarded ones on the wall?

Eric: There’s Jimothy the Bold.

[Amanda laughs]

Brandon: Good.

Eric: There’s McKraken.

Michael: Jimothy the Bold, what was he so bold about?

Eric: You know, it’s funny, underneath each photo there’s like a little description of why they were so great. Jimothy the Bold stood up to the Dean of UniChron.

Michael: UChron!

Eric: To make sure that they were acceptable party hours for all types of races.

Brandon: Good.

Amanda: That’s legit.

Eric: McKraken came back from spring break and told everyone that he fought a kraken. And they don’t remember his real name, he’s just McKraken now.

Amanda: Sure.

Brandon: What about Tom “Five hooves” Bergeron.

Eric: He’s known for an epic party where he carried around a magical staff all the time, saying that he had five legs, and then the staff fused to his body and so he actually had five legs.

Brandon: Good, good.

Eric: And he could shoot Magic Missile whenever he wanted.

Brandon: Good.

Eric: Yeah, so there are some very good boys - horse boys all over the walls. The furniture is mostly cheap tables. There are bean bag chairs scattered around for anyone to just sort of flop onto.

Michael: Oh, those must be disgusting.

Eric: They’re very gross.

Brandon: Tracey sits on one.

[Amanda giggles]

Michael: No! Oh god!

Eric: Make a Constitution check.

[dice rolling]

[Brandon laughing]

Brandon: That’s a crit 1.

[all laughing]

Eric: Tracey, it’s real stanky.

Brandon: Tracey is quickly forming his opinion of frats.

Eric: Yeah, okay, so you can also see that there’s a ramp going up to the second floor.

Michael: They’re centaurs, that makes sense.

Eric: Exactly, and there is a ramp going down into a basement. Two centaurs come down from the second floor. One of them is a little bit larger than the other one, and he’s wearing a backward baseball hat that has HORSE on it, and the other one is a little bit smaller with white spots on his black coat, and he has glasses on. The large one comes in and says

Eric (as large centaur): Onion, why do you yell all the time? Can you just like chill for two seconds, please? Who are these people?

Eric (as Onion): Oh man, they’re the new pledges. They can join Vanjor

Eric (as large centaur): Yeah… I mean good. You were supposed to be the pledge master and you literally got one person, so I thought that getting another person would be better. Congratulations, thank you. You don’t have to run this stuff by me. I’m not the president.

Eric (as Onion): Yeah, but you’re like the highest-ranking dude here, so like I have to report to you.

Eric (as large centaur): I don’t care. I really don’t care. Hi, hello, my name’s McHugh, vice president here at HORSE and while everyone is on spring break I guess I am in charge.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hello!

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, we’re continuing education students, that’s why you haven’t seen us before…

[whispering] that’s a good cover, right guys?

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] That’s really good, good job.

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks.

Brandon (as Tracey): Why are we whispering in front of them?

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks.

Brandon (as Tracey): They can’t hear you if you whisper.

Michael (as Johnny): [whispering] That’s patently false.

Eric (as McHugh): I literally could not care- I know you’re lying but I literally do not care as long as there are new people here at the HORSE house. Joe, does it really matter if these people are actually students? Like is that fine?

Eric: The other horse pushes up his glasses and says

Eric (as Joe): Uh, yeah. I mean, if they get checked by campus security that might be bad, but as long as they’re not around and no one’s really here for spring break, so it should just kind of be fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): Great!

Amanda (as Inara): Hi I’m Inara!

Brandon (as Tracey): Hi I’m Tracey!

Amanda: And then I’m gonna wave at Joe.

Eric (as Joe): Hey, I’m Joe.

Brandon: Then I’m gonna wave at Inara.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey, I’m Johnny Bro-Goodlight, hey.

Eric (as McHugh): Uh, yeah but if you have any questions about what’s going on, I know the history of this place, if you have any cool questions. I’m gonna go back… do you need us for anything?

Eric: And Onion’s like

Eric (as Onion): No, man, I’m just gonna tell ‘em to go down with Vanjor and get to work.

Eric: McHugh’s like

Eric (as McHugh): Alright, well if we’re gonna have a party, I really, really, really need those bathrooms to be clean, so just like take care of that. We can’t have a party unless the basement is spotless, so please, go take care of it. It’s so gross down there.

Brandon (as Tracey): The downstairs is a bathroom?

Eric (as McHugh): Yeah, the basement.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, not it. Hard not it.

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey that’s literally what we’re here to do.

Brandon (as Tracey): Shit…

Eric: Onion’s like

Eric (as Onion): Yeah, no, no I’m gonna take care of it. It’s fine. Vanjor, he’s gonna finally have some friends to play with.

Eric (as McHugh): Don’t say - don’t say it like that. That makes us look suspicious. Onion, you gotta graduate.

[all laughing]

Eric: So, Onion is leading all three of you down into the basement. So, you’re walking down this rickety ramp that goes to the basement. It is dim, but there are still a few lamps along the walls.

It’s very clear that the parties are held in the basement. There is a wooden bar that is built into one of the walls, and there’s a short wooden platform stage opposite for like bands and performers. There are also remnants of broken bottles and cans of Artificial Darkness, and solo cups, and other party paraphernalia that litters all over the floor.

You look into the other wall that is in between the stage and the bar, there’s a portrait of an extremely drunk centaur that is slightly blurred and distorted and he is looking directly out to whoever is looking at the portrait and the caption below says, “If you think this is a mirror, the toilets are behind you.”

Amanda: Classy.

Michael: That’s very good.

Eric: So pointing in the other direction down the halls is the bathroom. It’s fairly large. There are several stalls for just kind of like doing your business. But they are like horse stalls because a centaur just kind of like backs up into them.

The walls of the stalls are wooden and built later, but the toilets themselves are composed of the same dark stone as the walls and everything else. These bathrooms are nasty. Really at some point, the brothers from the house, there’s like 30 of them which Onion is like describing every one of their names, and nicknames, and likes, and dislikes as you’re walking down - they’re kind of just like doing their business wherever they want to, so right before pledge season, they always make all the pledges scrub everything in the bathroom, and it is nasty and everything needs to be scrubbed down there.

Standing outside of the bathrooms is a smaller centaur. He’s pretty short, kind of think of like a pony size for a centaur, and he’s wearing - also wearing a backwards HORSE hat and a saggy HORSE hoodie. He turns around and drops a mop, a scrub brush, and a shovel.

Eric (as smaller centaur): Uh, Onion. Onion I was just about to get started! I - I was gonna get in there and clean everything and it’s gonna be great.

Eric: And Onion says

Eric (as Onion): Oh, yeah guys, this is a new pledge- I found some new pledges, some new friends for you pledge, and you guys are gonna clean this togetheeeeeer, it’s gonna be siiiiiiick.

Eric: The pledge waves to you three and says

Eric (as smaller centaur): Hi, welcome… pledges.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hi, what’s your name? I’m Tracey.

Eric (as smaller centaur): I’m Vanjor. Okay, Onion, I’m gonna get started, and I guess now that we have - I have help and it’s gonna be great-

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, Onion why don’t you go away for a little bit, we’ll do this.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, don’t worry about it. We got this man, go take a load off.

Eric (as Onion): Alright, pledge, you just gotta get in there, you gotta really clean it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, it’s pretty simple, we clean the thing, just -

Eric (as Onion): Hey, shut up, pledge!

Brandon (as Tracey): I will literally chop you in half.

[Eric laughs]

Eric: Make an Intimidation roll.

Michael: Yeah, this Onion character needs to be taken down a notch.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: You know, I hear he has real layers though.

[Brandon chuckles]

Brandon: 14 + 3 for 17.

Eric (as Onion): Uh, cool, okay, um, you know I have more Communications homework to do anyway.

Brandon (as Tracey): Cool.

Eric (as Onion): I’m gonna do extra credit.

Brandon (as Tracey): Cool.

Eric (as Onion): So I’m gonna go, but you guys have fun-

Brandon (as Tracey): We got this.

Eric (as Onion): Pledges! You guys are gonna have fun…

Brandon (as Tracey): Thanks…

Michael (as Johnny): Hey you should probably practice Spanish a little…

Eric (as Onion): Shut up.

Eric: He clomps away.

Vanjor turns to you three and says

Eric (as Vanjor): Alright, I guess, [sighs] I guess we should do this, huh?

Brandon (as Tracey): Vanjor, don’t worry about it. We got it. Johnny?

Michael: I put on my hazmat suit and I’m just going to Prestidigitate.

Eric: Can I tell you something exciting?

Michael: Yes.

Eric: Everybody roll for Initiative.

[intense electric music beings]

Michael: Fuck me.

Amanda: Oh, come on.

[dice rolling]

This is how I feel every time I go to clean my bathroom though.

Eric: Yeah, for sure.

Amanda: Oh, nat-20!

Eric: Oh, hey now.

Michael: You’re an all-star.

Amanda: Get your game on.

Brandon: Go play.

Michael: [laughs] I see that number.

Brandon: Don’t laugh at my number, that’s my personal number.

Michael: Eh, it’s a bad number.

Eric: Johnny, what do you roll?

Michael: 17.

Brandon: Uh, yo boy has a 5.

Eric: Ay!

Michael: Don’t forget your pluses…

Brandon: Oh, I didn’t forget. I did add my pluses.

Amanda: Aw.

Eric: I want you to treat the bathroom like a monster, and cleaning the bathroom basically is going to follow the rules of engagement.

Amanda: Okay.

Eric: I’m going to have a certain number of hit points, which is the filth of the bathroom, and once you hit zero the bathroom is clean. You can attack on your turn with one of three weapons, which Vanjor was holding before, a mop, a scrub brush, and a shovel.

The shovel is Strength-based, and the two others are Dexterity-based, and they all do 1d6 cleaning damage. However, if you come up with creative other attacks, you can do it in other ways, and I already have Prestidigitation written down as a 1d6 guaranteed attack. Also, if you put on your hazmat suit, I will tell you when you have advantage.

Michael: I hand Inara her hazmat suit as we’re at the precipice of this mighty foe that we have against us.

Eric: I like it. Alright, Inara you clean first. What do you want to do?

Amanda: I’m gonna get on the Grind Machine and do laps around the bathroom while pointing the holy water decanter up at the top of the walls, like where the wall and the ceiling meet. Because when cleaning a bathroom, one of many tips I’m about to lay down on people - you do want to start from the top and go down, because that is where the drains are.

Eric: I like that. I want you to make a Dexterity roll for how deft you are at riding the Grind Machine around this nasty bathroom.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: Um, that’s a 14 + 7 for a 21.

Eric: Okay, you are able to deftly steer around all the piles of poop on the floor, and you start to power wash around the ceiling. I want you to roll 2d6.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: I got a 6 and a 2.

Eric: Hell yeah, that is 8 points of cleaning damage, bang. Johnny, it is now your turn, how do you want to clean?

Michael: So, I’m fairly uncomfortable at this whole situation. Johnny’s going to just, from where he’s standing, start Prestidigitating the space in front of him so he can walk in on already clean stuff.

Eric: Okay, Prestidigitation gives you an automatic 1d6 cleaning roll, so roll that d6.

[dice rolling]

Michael: That is a 5.

Eric: Alright, 5 points of cleaning damage. It is now the bathroom’s turn.

[Amanda laughs]

And I am going to roll a d6 and see what happens.

[dice rolling]


[Eric laughing]

Amanda: Oh no…

Eric: Okay, with a 3, Vanjor looks at you three and he says

Eric (as Vanjor): Guys, we’re never gonna get out of here. It’s… it’s…

[all giggling]

How is this filthy place so possible? It shouldn’t be this possible!

Eric: I want you to roll Wisdom for existential dread.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 15.

Michael: 9.

Brandon: You know how Tracey’s really good at Wisdom?

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: Oh, babe.

Brandon: Uh, 2.

Amanda: Aw!

Eric: So, Johnny - Johnny slaps Vanjor and he’s like

Eric (as Vanjor): Oh! I know-

Michael (as Johnny): Snap out of it! Snap out of it!

Eric: But Johnny and Tracey, you two are overcome with existential dread, so you need to take the next turn to contemplate the life choices that brought you there.

Amanda: Oh no.

Brandon: Damn that’s real.

[Amanda laughs]

Michael: That’s also very fair, I’m not happy in here.

Eric: Vanjor takes the mop, and then starts using the water from the power scrubbing and is going to try to mop some stuff up.

[dice rolling]

Yeah that hits, and he is going to do…

[dice rolling]

3 points of cleaning damage.

Tracey, how are you overcome with existential dread?

Brandon: I am sitting down on the edge of the ramp, just sort of looking around and saying

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] This just can’t be…

[all laughing]

This just can’t…

Amanda: It’s so dirty. It’s a different color than it started.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] There’s not even a floor here. I just don’t…

Eric: [laughing] Alright, we’re coming back to Inara. Inara, what do you want to do? How do you want to clean?

Amanda: I’m going to grab the scrub brush and finish kind of washing down the walls, being as acrobatic as possible really, so I’m gonna like try to really sort of jump up onto the sink, I’m gonna try to tumble from sink to sink. I’m going to grab onto the window ledge, make sure I get up into the books and crannies. I can do a one-handed cartwheel, sticking one hand with the scrub brush up against the wall, so that I cartwheel continuously making loops of cleanness on the walls. You know, normal things.

Eric: This is my mixtape for my cleaning run.

Brandon: You write your name on the wall, or on the-

Amanda: I do, in cursive. That’s a great point, Tracey.

Eric: Why don’t you make an Acrobatics roll for me?

[dice rolling]

Amanda: Oh, I see how it is, dice.

[Brandon and Michael laugh]

Luckily, I’m very acrobatic, so 6 + 10 for a 16.

Eric: Hell yeah, you get that done. It looks very cool. And roll 1d6 for cleaning damage.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 1.

Eric: Oh no.

Amanda: You know, it’s pretty but it’s not effective.

Eric: That’s fair. Johnny, how are you racked with existential dread?

Michael: So, when I slapped Vanjor to get him to like not freak out-

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: When he stepped back, he stepped into a puddle of unknown liquids that splashed onto my hazmat suit. I was immediately taken aback, and I’m outside of the room just casting and recasting Prestidigitation to clean myself. And it’s like spotless but I’m just like

Michael (as Johnny): No! Clean! Clean!

Eric: If someone was filming it, it’d be in black and white and then ‘Mad World’ would be playing.

[all laugh]

[singing] All around me are… Prestidigitation!

Michael: Prestidigitation!

Eric: I like it. It is now the bathroom’s turn.

Amanda: Oh no.

[dice rolling]

Eric: I rolled a 6. Everyone roll a Constitution saving throw. People who are wearing hazmat suits get advantage.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 10.

Michael: 19.

Brandon: I got 19 + 6 for 25.

Michael: Nice!

Amanda: Oh yeah!

Brandon: So, constitute.

Eric: Inara, because you got all up on the filth while you were cleaning it, it assaults your senses. It is just everywhere, and you need to take a moment to chill, but you’re really starting to feel sick. So, I’m gonna roll damage for you.

[dice rolling]

5 points of filthy damage.

Amanda: Yup.

Eric: It is Vanjor’s turn again, and he’s going to take the scrub brush from Inara and be like

Eric (as Vanjor): Inara, I got you. Pledge needs to stick together. Vanjor.

Eric: And Vanjor’s gonna try to get in on those toilets with the scrub brush.

Amanda: Brave man.

Eric: Yeah.

[dice rolling]

Eric (as Vanjor): It’s too much! I can’t do it! I just can’t do it!

Michael: The walls are closing in!

Eric: Trace, it’s your turn. You have overcome your existential dread. How do you want to proceed?

Brandon: I stand up and I just sort of shake myself off. Is anything broken in the room?

Eric: Yeah there are two sinks on the walls, and one of them does not work.

Brandon: No, no, no is anything literally broken? Like physically broken?

Eric: Yeah, well here’s - the reason why the sink doesn’t work is because it’s on the ground and it’s not attached to anything.

Amanda: Oh no.

Brandon: So, Tracey’s gonna walk over on his tip-toes over to the sink and cast a ritual of Mending to try to fix the sink.

Eric: Ooh! What do artificer spells look like?

Brandon: So, for Tracey specifically, the sigils on his body sort of glows orange, and there’s like a sort of center-less energy that sort of ephemerally covers the sink in orange glow. It takes a little bit of time, but eventually it sort of picks itself up and meds itself.

Eric: I like that everyone’s trying to clean and you’re just like picking up the sink and standing there glowing.

Brandon: Yeah.

Eric: Good. Roll another d6. So that will count as cleaning damage.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s 2.

Eric: Alright, 2 more.

Brandon: And I also have an extra attack.

Eric: Alright, do it.

Brandon: So, for my second attack, I’m going to shoot my thunder cannon, which is full of, let’s say -

Amanda: Yes, Brandon! So smart!

Brandon: Let’s say deodorizing powder...

Eric: No that’s fair.

Brandon: And shoot it around the room to try to get some of the stink out.

Eric: I like it, because it’s like it’s poison in there.

Amanda: It’s an antidote!

Eric: It’s an antidote. Yeah, roll another d6, that was great.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s a 6!

Eric: Hell yeah!

Amanda: Hey!

Eric: Alright, I think with the deodorizer in Tracey’s gun, the bathroom is starting to look really good and actually be cleaned up, but the bathroom does one more attack. Revenge of the bathroom!

[Brandon laughs]

Amanda: Bathroom’s last stand.

Eric: Okay, I rolled a 4. Again, the stench of the room is trying to overtake all of you. I want you to make another Constitution saving throw.

Michael: Advantage?

Eric: Yeah, and people wearing hazmat suits have advantage.

[dice rolling]

Michael: 18 + 4 for 22.

Amanda: [sighs] 5 + 2.

Brandon: 10 + 6 for a 16.

Eric: Nice.

[dice rolling]

So Inara, again, the smell of the bathroom makes you feel real bad.

Amanda: I’m very small.

Eric: So, I think that you vomit inside the hazmat suit and unfortunately the hazmat suit is no longer helpful to you.

Amanda: Yeah, because I’m already out of it, that’s how quickly I get out of that hazmat suit.

Eric: So please strike the hazmat suit from your inventory.

Amanda: It has been stricken.

Eric: Good. Hey, you defeated the bathroom!

Brandon: Yay?

Amanda: Yay?

[action music shifts to quiet, plucking guitar strings]

Michael: There’s been too much lost.

Eric: [singing fanfare] Dah-dah-dah-dah-dahdahdah!

Amanda: At what cost, Eric? At what cost?

Eric: As you all try to recover from your senses, Vanjor calls out

Eric (as Vanjor): Hey, hey! Whoa! What is that?

Eric: Vanjor is pointing to one of the bathroom walls, and it turns out that there is writing on the wall. And it’s written in a strange language that Inara and Tracey and Vanjor have never seen before.

Michael: Do you know that I can read literally anything?

Amanda: Can you read anything?

Michael: Hey, DM? I’m reading.

Eric: Sure.

[music stops]

Michael: “Retainer, these trials are for you. Pass and be rewarded.”

Eric: And as Johnny says that out loud, the wall slides over to the left.

[stone wall moving]

And you see a dark, dark, dark hallway looking back at you.

Amanda: Hey, it’s Amanda. If, like me, you love the cold weather, you might know the feeling of waking up in the morning and putting your feet on the floor for the first time that day. Maybe there’s a little chill to the floorboards, or maybe your window is frosted at the corners. Either way, you know: ooh, man, it’s chilly outside. And then you get straight back into bed. This is the midroll! Welcome. We have an electric blanket cranked up to 10.

We are very very excited to welcome some new Patrons to our community! SF, Emma, Kathryn, Jess, Jacob, Alicia, Heather, and Octavio. We have snacks ready for you in the kitchen. Like, so many snacks. If you want to join our Patreon party, you can! And should! Eric and I are both podcasting full-time now, and we can only do that because of the support listeners like you pledge on Patreon. Your support means stability for us, investment back into the show, and access to our amazing Patron-only Discord. Trust us, you want in on this. It’s at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

Speaking of, the folks in our Discord must be psychic, because they totally guessed that WE MADE NEW MERCH! We have shirts. We have stickers. We have brand-new designs for Tracey, Johnny, Inara, Alonzo, AND Stoneface. Get your fave on a shirt! Or a tote bag! Or a SHIRT AND A TOTE BAG! Don’t wat—open your browser this minute and go to jointhepartypod.com/merch. Seriously the shirts are so good.

This week we’re sponsored by Far Away, a two-player, cooperative board game about exploring a series of sandbox worlds across several branching missions. In order to understand the crushing loneliness of being the only two humans for lightyears, players are only allowed to talk to each other in real life when their characters in together in-game. Far Away is great for couples or friends looking to share a story of triumphant survival and hilarious catastrophe. Go to bit.ly/farawaygame to back their Kickstarter campaign! Pledge by November 11th, 2018 to get a digital or physical copy of the game, cool shirts, swag, and more. Just head over to bit.ly/farawaygame.

We are also sponsored this week and every week by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, New York, whose co-owner Lauren Bilanko is our resident Master, Dungeon Master. Each month we bring her one of our listeners’ questions shabout games and GMing. Today our question is: “I’m the DM for a dungeon crawling campaign. My party has gotten in the habit of gathering all the NPCs they meet to come along with them. It complicates things because the party size has doubled, so my encounters are now too easy, and they’re treating the NPCs like “red shirts,” disposable people who can die on their behalf. How do I keep my party’s number in check without taking agency away from them?”

Lauren says: “Take control of the NPCs - Maybe one doesn't want to go along, or is too scared to help out in a fight. Put a fork in the road and have a bunch of NPCs band togther and politely have a conversation with the party about how they want to form their own party and split off from the group. This could build up over several sessions and create great rolplaying opportunities. The party could overhear whispers of the NPCs getting discruntled, saying things like, "Why are we always the ones who have to risk our lives, look how many we've lost already, why would I want to fight for them when I can fight for myself!"”

Thanks, Master Dungeon Master! Use the code JOINTHEPARTY in store or online and save 20% off. That code again is JOINTHEPARTY. Check them out at twenty (full word) sided store dot come or in person in Brooklyn, New York.

And now, let’s get back to the show.

[hooves clomping]

Eric: As the wall opens, you hear galloping above your heads.

Amanda: Oh man, the bros have awakened.

Eric: The three centaur bros are standing outside the bathroom. McHugh looks at the four of you and says

Eric (as McHugh): What did you do? We literally just told you to clean stuff. What is this?

Brandon (as Tracey): It was so dirty in here that you just didn’t see this before.

Eric (as McHugh): That is entirely possible.

Amanda (as Inara): We cleaned it so good that the house was like “Ah!” and then it relaxed too much and then another room opened.

Brandon (as Tracey): That. That thing happened.

Michael (as Johnny): It seems our trials are [coughs, switches to bro voice] Yeah, bro, it seems our trials aren’t over!

Eric: McHugh is astounded. He just can’t even form words anymore.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey Joe! Do you know anything about this quote: “Retainer, these trials are for you. Pass and be rewarded.”

Eric: Why don’t you make a History check on behalf of Joe?

Michael: Interesting. I will do so.

Brandon: And it seems like Retainer is calling someone Retainer, right?

Eric: Capital R retainer.

Brandon: Comma after the word?

Eric: Yes.

Michael: 8.

Eric: Okay. Joe pushes up his glasses and cantors over to the open wall.

[Amanda giggling]

And sticks his head in and adjusts his glasses and says

Eric (as Joe): You know, I knew what this used to be, but I didn’t know that there was anything secret about it. I’m gonna have to - I’ll put this in an essay and maybe I’ll get advanced placement.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, that would be amazing.

Eric (as Joe): I can work on my dissertation on the curses and cults inside of the Concentric States.

Brandon (as Tracey): You’re gonna kill it! I love it!

Michael (as Johnny): What was here before, man?

Eric (as Joe): I knew that the frat house used to be a temple of some sort, but I didn’t think that there was anything else here. I mean, you saw the first floor. There were no walls. It was just one big praying center.

Eric: As you three try to do some investigation work, you notice that Onion has run over to the dark opening and is trying to shove himself in, but he is too big to make it through the dark doorway.

Brandon (as Tracey): I’ll help!

Brandon: And I go over and start pushing him in.

[Eric laughs]

Eric (as Onion): I can’t make it! I can’t make it! It’s fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, I’m sorry-

Brandon: And I pull him out.

Eric (as Onion): Oh, thank- oh.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey guys, how about as part of our trials, we go in and investigate for you guys and help the history of HORSE the frat grow?

Eric (as McHugh): Yeah, sure, okay, yeah can you deal with this? I don’t-

Eric: Vanjor walks over to the opening and he goes

Eric (as Vanjor): [echoing] Vanjor!

Eric: And it echoes back to him, “Vanjor, Vanjor, Vanjor,”

[Amanda giggling]

Brandon: That’s really fun to do.

Eric: And he goes

Eric (as Vanjor): Yeah, I’m actually- I can fit through here. I’ll go check it out with the other pledges. We’ll take care of it. And then if we do, we’ll be full-fledged HORSEs right?

Eric: Onion says

Eric (as Onion): No, none of us are full-fledged horses!

[Brandon and Amanda laugh]

We’re centaurs.

Amanda (as Inara): Surely this is not the first time that’s come up.

Eric: McHugh says

Eric (as McHugh): Okay, just take care of it. Fine, you’ll get full - you don’t have to do any of these dumb pledges anymore. Onion, you have - go to class. You have - you have tutoring right now! There is Spanish tutoring right now.

Eric: And Onion is like

Eric (as Onion): Oh yeah, I should probably go to tutoring.

Eric: The three larger centaurs all leave you in the bathroom.

Eric (as Vanjor): Here’s the thing. I talk a big game, obviously, I am Vanjor, but I’m actually -

Michael (as Johnny): You love to say your name a lot, Vanjor… Johnny B. Goodlight.

Eric (as Vanjor): I’m Vanjor, Johnny B. Goodlight.

Michael (as Johnny): Johnny B. Goodlight.

Eric (as Vanjor): But I’m actually not very strong, or big, or skilled, or smart, so I don’t know if I can take care of this by myself.

Brandon (as Tracey): Why don’t you just walk behind me?

Eric (as Vanjor): Cool, cool, cool, okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Vanjor, you don’t have to be big or strong or smart to kill people. Just wanna let you know that.

[all burst out laughing]

In case that’s a thing that you wanted to do. I just mean, whatever your goal is in life, like that would be a weird goal to have in life, right?

Brandon (as Tracey): What she means to say is it only matters how big your heart is.

Eric (as Vanjor): Well it’s over - it’s pretty large, because you know, centaurs have really large…

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s like a four-valve situation, or -?

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, Tracey, you lead the way.

Eric (as Vanjor): Twelve.

Eric: All four of you scooch inside the narrow hallway.

Amanda: We have to go sideways because it’s narrow?

Eric: Yeah, you have to go sideways. While Vanjor is like trying to hold himself as tightly as possible walking through. And you walk into a bare stone room. As all four of you come inside, you hear stone shifting against the ground.

[stone against stone]

And you turn around and there is no entrance behind you.

Amanda: Oh good.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, well I’m gonna add claustrophobia to my list of fears. Did not know that was a thing for me. It is now.

Michael: What’s the light situation?

Eric: Johnny, you know it’s funny, as you try to turn the lights on as much as possible, it remains the same dimness.

Michael: Hmm.

Eric: But in this room, there is an organ that is built into one of the walls.

Michael: Tracey, don’t touch it.

Brandon: [laughing] How did you know?

Eric: The organ is relatively small, and the key board is made of bones. Iron pipes ascend from the organ into the ceiling, and a stone tablet sits where a sheet of music is normally found.

Brandon: I’m gonna walk over and look at the stone tablet.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: Is there any like markings or musical notation on it?

Eric: The writing on the tablet reads in the same unknown language that was on the wall.

Brandon (as Tracey): Johnny, hey Johnny. There’ some writing here.

Michael: I look at the writing that I naturally am able to read, because I don’t know if you know this guy, but I can read everything.

Amanda: Wow.

Brandon: You’re extremely literate.

Michael (as Johnny): “A good boy can dream, but a better boy forges a dark future.”

Michael: You know what I want to do?

Eric: Yeah?

Michael: I want to without consulting anyone do a thing.

Eric: Okay.

Michael: I want to play the notes A, G, C, B, C, D, B, A, B, B, F, A, D, F.

Eric: Okay, I want you to roll Performance.

[dice rolling]

Michael: That is a 19 + 4 for Performance.

Eric: Johnny, you play the melody perfectly, and as you play all of the notes in succession and you hit the final F, you hear the grinding of gears. On the other side of the room, the stone lifts up, and another doorway appears.

Michael (as Johnny): [still in bro voice] Yeah, I did a trial like this is my last frat. So, this is fairly common. Come on, guys.

Brandon (as Tracey): Johnny, they’re not here anymore. It’s cool, you can just talk normally.

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, of course I can.

Eric: Johnny, also as you hit the last F, the front of the organ falls off.

Michael: Oh!

Amanda: Oh no!

Eric: It was really damaged. Like it was super messed up. And you can see the mechanics of this trap - you see that there is like little teeth which correspond with each of the letters that you hit and there was a chain that runs all the way down through the organ into the ground, and you assume that’s what pulled up the door.

Michael (as Johnny): [in projected acting voice] Onward, friends, into the darkness.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t think that’s your normal voice either, did you forget?

Michael (as Johnny): Oh yeah, I don’t know.

Eric: Okay, you four walk into the next room, and just like before, the stones fall back into place and there is no door.

[stone against stone]

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, still spooky.

Eric: This one has a little more stuff in it. It is still made out of the same dark stone. It is pretty austere, but in this room, there is a large circular lens suspended from the ceiling in the center of the room. Between the lens and the door is an empty pedestal. On the far wall, where you can kind of assume that there will be a door in the future, there are seven gemstones, one of each color in order of the rainbow. Words above the gemstone read

Michael (as Johnny): “If you can read this, you already have what you need to pass: a tool to be manipulated for your purposes.”

Brandon (as Tracey): Is this room smaller than the last one, guys- I don’t-

Amanda (as Inara): It’s okay, Trace, we’re gonna be out soon.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Michael: Johnny holds out his lantern of Undying Light and starts moving towards the lens to try to see if he can focus some of the light onto the colors, going in ROY G. BIV order.

Eric: Got it. Okay, you send the light from the lantern through the lens and it hits the wall. And you try to get every single one of the colored gems over the door, and nothing happens.

Michael: Okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): Alright, well I guess I’m gonna go try to take some gems.

Brandon: And Tracey walks over and tries to pull one from the wall.

Eric: Make a Strength check.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: 16.

Eric: You take two of your big metallic hands and try to pull it out of the wall, and it’s pretty wedged in there. You can’t get it out.

Amanda: I would like to investigate the pedestal. What’s it made out of?

Eric: Why don’t you roll an Investigation check?

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 10 + 5 for a 15.

Eric: The pedestal is made out of the same dark stone as everything else, but as you walk over to the pedestal, you see shards of crystal all over the pedestal and kind of on the ground around it.

Amanda: As if something broke while sitting on the pedestal?

Eric: Yes.

Brandon (as Tracey): We do have these glittering rocks from before from the place…

Amanda: Yes!

Michael: If-

Amanda: From the house!

Michael: From the house. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Amanda: Out of my pack, I’m going to pull some of the glittering tooth rocks. So, I both got shards of unrefined tooth rocks from the tunnels as we used the mine cart, and then also the refined ones after the competition was over.

Michael: Once she places it on the pedestal, I’m going to aim the light and the lens at that stone.

Eric: Cool. You shine the light from the lantern again. It fires as a beam through the lens and hits the refined gemstones from Tortipolis. The light explodes into different colors, all of the colors of the rainbow, and shoots itself towards the seven gems on the far wall. Each of the gems lights up with its own burning flame inside of itself and you hear stone move.

[stone moving on stone]

And it comes up, and up, and up and there is a new doorway.

Michael: Yeah!

Eric (as Vanjor): Vanjor!

Brandon (as Tracey): Vanjor.

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, guys, I guess third one’s a charm?

Michael (as Johnny): I mean I hope so, I’m getting hungry.

Brandon (as Tracey): This one’s definitely smaller than the last one I think. This one is definitely not - it’s not okay, I think we need to get out of here quickly.

Amanda (as Inara): I completely agree, Trace.

Eric: You are now in the third room. In this room, there is a statue on one wall. It is a disembodied suit of armor carved as if the helmet, arm plates, chest plate, and flail float on their own. There are remnants of another statue next to the stone door. The door has a dial with numbers 0 through 60 on it, similar to a safe vault. And there are more words on the door.

Brandon (as Tracey): Johnny, what’s this one say?

Michael (as Johnny): The sage knows all there is to know, but the room is enchanted to permit only one question. Ask this question wisely.

Brandon: Tracey holds back all of his might to not blurt out a question.

Eric: Well here’s the thing, Tracey. You did just say aloud…

Brandon: God fucking damnit!

Amanda: Oh no.

Eric: Well, here’s the thing. Nothing happens. But I’m just letting Brandon know that he already asked one question.

Brandon: Brandon’s disappointed in himself.

Michael: So, each of us can ask a question? I don’t say out loud… I think to myself.

[Brandon laughs]

Is there anything remarkable about the crushed pieces of the other statue?

Eric: Yeah, you can do an Investigation check.

Michael: I shall.

[dice rolling]

17 + 3 for a non-natural 20.

Eric: Okay, in the rubble of the statue, you can see that there is a hand in there and also like a smiling face of an older man.

Michael: Okay, so that’s the sage. The sage is gone. The sage has been crushed.

Amanda: Right.

Michael: We’ve already asked a question, so we can no longer ask anymore questions in this room, even though we weren’t gonna get an answer from it anyway, because it was gonna be crushed anyway.

Brandon: I knew that ahead of time, y’all.

[Amanda laughs]

Michael: I mean, you also knew the rules of the room before, so-

Brandon: I’m very good at D&D.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey Vanjor, what’s your favorite number?

Eric (as Vanjor): Uh…

Michael (as Johnny): 0 to 60…

[dice rolling]

Eric: [laughing] I literally rolled the actual thing!

Michael: So, he picks the right number, right?

Eric: Vanjor says

Eric (as Vanjor): My favorite number is uh… it’s 49.

Michael (as Johnny): Hm, it’s a good number.

Eric (as Vanjor): Because it’s square. And there’s 7s on all sides. I think it’s cool. Vanjor

Michael: There’s no other like numerical indications anywhere in this room?

Eric: No. Oh, hold on, you asked Vanjor what his favorite number is!

Michael: Oh shit!

Eric: Alright, as Johnny turns to Vanjor and asks him what his favorite number is, the armor starts to shake as darkness fills up the space in the armor. Each of the individual pieces start to move with disembodied shadow, and the flail is tailed with darkness that no one can see through. So, you three, roll Initiative and I’m gonna average your stuff.

[upbeat and electric music begins again]

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 6.

Michael: I got 15.

Brandon: Um, 1.

[Eric laughing]

Amanda: Brandon, this is a systemic problem at this point.

Michael: The thing is, is that I keep telling you that this is a problem.

Brandon: I was gonna add my bonus, but it’s a crit-1 so I don’t’ think I get to. I think Tracey is just too freaked out by his claustrophobia at this point.

Michael: How Vanjor of you.

Amanda: Completely fair.

Brandon: I don’t know if he can fight.

Eric: Vanjor rolled an 8. The shadow armor goes first. The armor starts to wheel its flail around and it attacks

[dice rolling]

Tracey. He has three attacks, what’s your AC bud?

Brandon: 16.

[dice rolling]

Eric: A 15 does not hit.

Brandon: Does not hit.

Eric: A 17 does hit.

Brandon: Does hit.

Eric: Does a 26 hit?

Brandon: No.

Eric: Oh, okay. The first time the armor attacks at you, the flail flies over your head, but the second time it hits you right in the center of the chest. And you take 7 points of damage from that bludgeoning.

Brandon: Good.

Eric: Unfortunately, as it collides with your chest piece, you feel shadow running through you and just pulling the life out of you. And you take an extra 18 damage. And I want you to make a Constitution saving throw.

Brandon: 23.

Eric: You’re almost overcome by the shadow, but you fight it off. And from the other attack of the flail you take another 9 points of damage. You take 34 points of damage in total.

Amanda: Jesus.

Brandon: Fuuuuuu…

Eric: Alright, what are you guys doing?

Michael: I’m going to cast Guiding Bolt.

[dice rolling]

It’s a 19.

Eric: Okay, well that’s good that it’s a 19, because that just beats its Armor Class.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: Damn, good roll.

Michael: 20- it’s a 20 + 4 + 2 and its radiant damage, and then also we all have advantage against this guy now.

Eric: Johnny, you do 52 points of damage to this shadow elemental.

Michael: Great, that makes me very happy to hear.

Eric: And now it is glittering, and it is very unhappy with Jonathan.

Michael: Great.

Amanda: How is the creature looking at this point?

Eric: It looks unhappy, and it is very unhappy that he just got pretty wrecked, but it’s still alive and kicking.

Amanda: Inara’s going to get into a bit of a like defensive stance with the dagger in her left hand, and with her right, reach up to the cloak, and pull the patch of the lantern embroidered on it right off of the cloak.

Eric: Okay, as you pull the patch off of the cloak that Kohl gave you, you feel like the patch actually has some weight to it.

Amanda: Oh.

Eric: And you really have to tug on it. You pull, and you loosen all of the thread that holds the patch to the cloak, and instead of the patch in your hand, you are holding a heavy metal lantern.

Amanda: I’m gonna thrust it up as high as I can reach it and point it at the creature.

Eric: It shoots this searing purple light ray at the shadow creature, and I want you to roll 3d10.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 9 total.

Eric: So, with the 9 points of damage, that gets doubled because it is radiant damage, even though it’s purple, so it does 18 points of damage.

Amanda: Alright, I am going to back slightly behind Johnny and whisper

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] Thanks, Kohl.

Eric: Tracey, it’s your turn.

Brandon: Tracey backs into a corner. He’s a little scared, to put it mildly, and he’s not feeling so hot, so he’s going to back into a corner and lay out one of his legs and use the Sawbone.

Eric: Oh god.

Amanda: Oh no!

Eric: It’s Dr. Heal myself, am I right?

Brandon: Yeah, he’s gonna hold down his own leg- his own thigh with his left arm and then with the axe, reach back, close his eyes and wince them as hard as he can, and hit his own leg with the Sawbone.

Eric: Alright, let’s start with a Constitution saving throw to see if you can - if you actually do this.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: 18.

Eric: Yeah, you steal yourself, so you know that this is the best thing for you. Alright, so here’s how the Sawbone works. First, I want you to roll a d10 for the damage done, and then I want you to roll a d20 for the healing done.

Amanda: Uh oh.

[dice rolling]

[Michael and Brandon laughing]

Brandon: Oh god… Uh, with the d20 I rolled an 11.

Eric: Okay, good.

Brandon: And with the d10 I rolled a 10.

[Eric giggling]

Amanda: Listen, it could have been-

Michael: It could have been worse.

Amanda: - a crit fail. On the Heal.

Michael: You got one health out of this.

Eric: That’s true, you gain one health. How does it feel to get one health?

Brandon: So, the axe tip sort of glows orange as he swings it down. He can’t really see it because he’s wincing right now, but he gets a bad angle and it bounces off his leg a little bit, bounces off some of the metal of his leg and the orange transfers to his leg, but it sort of sparks out. Tracey is still terrified, and he is going to stay in this corner.

Eric: Good. Sounds good. So Vanjor is going to run over to the dial and he is going to try to put in his favorite number.

[dice rolling]

I rolled another nat-20!

Amanda: Oh, Vanjor! Am I right!

Michael: Vanjor!

Brandon: I’m gonna get a hat that says Vanjor on it!

Eric: Yeah, Vanjor goes over to the dial, spins it to 49, and you hear the rumbling of stone as you heard before

[stone on stone]

And the door opens.

Amanda: Oh my god.

Eric (as Vanjor): If this is the same thing as all the other rooms, once we run through, the door should shut, right?

Amanda (as Inara): I mean fair enough.

Brandon (as Tracey): I think so.

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey, you go.

Amanda: And I’m going to be standing between Tracey and the Shadow.

Brandon: Tracey closes his eyes as tight as he can, puts his shield in front of him, and barrels towards the door.

Eric: Okay, I want you to make a Dexterity roll to see if you can get around the shadow dude.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: 10?

Eric: I think you’re definitely gonna get through, but I’m gonna do an attack to see if I hit you on the way out.

[dice rolling]

Okay, what’s your AC?

Brandon: 16.

Eric: Okay, you hustle by the shadow armor and it tries to take a swing at you with another one of his shadowy flail. This time it goes wide left and you make it through the door.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh my god.

Brandon: And I collapse on the floor.

Eric: So, I’m gonna attack three times against Johnny B. Goodlight.

Michael: Great. And before he does, I have Warding Flare. All attack rolls from this creature have disadvantage.

Eric: Oh, beans. Okay.

[dice rolling]

Does a 17 hit?

Michael: That one does hit.

Amanda: Damn.

[dice rolling]

Eric: Does 15 hit?

Michael: Yes.

Eric: Okay, does 17 hit?

Michael: Yes.

Eric: Johnny, unfortunately even with your Warding Flare, the flail hits you three times. You don’t get the shadow strike like Tracey took on, but you do get hit for 24 points of damage in total.

Michael: Which leaves me with 24 health.

Eric: There you go.

Amanda (as Inara): Johnny, I’ve got your back.

Amanda: So, I’m going to run toward the exit to the room. I’m going to stand just outside where I think the stone is going to be falling and point the lantern toward the shadow creature.

Eric: Alright, I want you to roll another 3d10.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 16.

Eric: Alright, you got 16 points of radiant damage which then becomes 32 points of radiant damage. Again, purple beam of light fires out of your lantern and collides right in the chest piece of this shadowy armor monster man. It’s looking pretty bad off and you knock it back.

Amanda: I do want to cover Johnny so that he can walk past me and then we can hopefully watch the door shut right in front.

Eric: Hell yeah.

Michael: I’m going to - as I’m running I’m going to cast Eldritch Blast.

[dice rolling]

I have a non-natural 20.

Eric: Okay.

Michael: Non-natural 20.

Eric: That hits.

Michael: So, I’m gonna do… diez y nueve.

Eric: You destroy that thing.

Amanda: Whoa!

Eric: Fish, what does it look like when you kill it?

Michael: So, I’m doing like full action boy like running like old man running.

Amanda: Oh yeah, pew, pew, pew.

Michael: And then from my finger guns, two Eldritch Blasts of almost pure light. The first one hits, and it absorbs it. It looks like it starts cracking. And then the second one, like almost as if it takes over the darkness and it becomes a thing of light and it just collapses - all the pieces just collapse on the floor.

Eric: I like it. And that is exactly what happens.

[music stops]

And as you watch the armor clatter to the floor, the stone door comes down.

[stone on stone]

[leaves rustling, wind blowing]

And you are in the final room.

This room is bare except for an altar on the far side of the room. On the altar is a statue of a lamp, and it looks a lot like the lamp that Johnny carries, but the door on the other side of the room is open, and you can see the fall weather of Chronopolis on the other side.

On the altar is an unlit candle, and the altar reads in Common,

“To the Retainer of the Destroyer of Stars, the one foretold to come, the reader of all tongues, the bearer of the cursed lamp, the wielder of light and darkness, triumphant over the aged trials, this gift shall be yours to aid the harbinger of darkness, bring an era of new night.”

And Vanjor says

Eric (as Vanjor): Oh, wait we made it - there’s the outside! That’s the- how is that possible, that’s the cafeteria?

[all laughing]

I mean I’m go- let’s go, let’s go!

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, let’s go!

Eric (as Vanjor): Vanjor!

Brandon (as Tracey): Vanjor!

Amanda: I will follow Vanjor out the tunnel, and kind of give a glance to Tracey and Johnny behind me like

Amanda (as Inara): You guys are coming, right?

Brandon: Tracey follows Inara and as he’s nearly in the cafeteria, he stops in the doorframe and watches Johnny.

[shimmery ethereal tones play]

Michael: To aid the harbinger of darkness, bring a new era of night. I- I just feel bad because I want to take the time, and I would be meditating right now, but there’s also- we don’t have a lot of… it would be light the candle… I’m trying to like corrupt this into what I want it to be.

So, I mean, I already have the lantern of the Undying Light, I might as well take the lantern of Undying Shadow. Holding the lantern of Undying Light, I look at this stone lantern of darkness and briefly thinking about wanting to choose a path that includes both darkness and light, it makes sense if I want a gift that also can help bring darkness as I already bring light. And I cast Prestidigitation to light the candle.

Brandon (as Tracey): Johnny, what are you doing?

Eric: As you light the candle, you feel all of the light - the dim light in the room, it starts to drain, and it’s like everything is moving towards the candle. The flame is deep purple with a dark black ember in the middle of it, and you can even see from behind you that the light from the fall from outside is getting pulled that way as well. It’s like twilight is quickly falling upon the campus.

Brandon: Tracey sees the darkness start encroaching and shakes his head slightly and walks through the door.

Michael: I am going to grab the stone lantern and try to pull it out as if it were an actual lantern.

Eric: Sure, make a Strength check.

[dice rolling]

Michael: 5.

Eric: Yeah, with a 5, you can’t move that statue. As you’re pulling on the stone lantern, you have like an understanding of the thing inside of your lantern, and the shadow that lurks in there is creeping out of the lamp, and is moving its way towards the candle. It creeps and creeps up there, and then it becomes the black center of the flame.

Michael: I will blow it out and then grab the candle.

Eric: As you lean over to blow, you feel like you’re getting pushed in the chest. You’re trying to lean over to blow it out and you literally just can’t. You’re getting pushed, like there’s a magnetic opposite between the candle and you. It’s pulling you out of the door and into the now fading light of the University campus.

Michael: I’m gonna cast Sacred Flame on it. Opposite of dark, but also with any fire type thing it manipulates the air around it to like feel it, so hypothetically taking the air away from the candle as I just whoosh it with the good fire.

[dice rolling]


Eric: What does Sacred Flame look like?

Michael: Most spells come from my hand or from me. Instead, this is radiance that descends onto the candle itself, surrounds it, and pushes the fire out.

Eric: You lower your radiance down upon the candle, and it’s like the dark flame and the radiance is like rubbing up against each other and creating sparks, like they’re battling for supremacy. And the Sacred Flame lowers down, snuffs the dark candle out, and the light around you on the campus, in the room, it comes back to normal. You’re thrown out of the darkness door. You even hear a door slam behind you.

[door slams]

[piano melody begins]

And as you three and Vanjor turn around to see where you came from, there’s nothing there.

[theme music]

Eric: Join the Party is brought to you by Brandon Grugle, Amanda McLoughlin, Michael Fische, and me, Eric Silver. I’m your host and game master; Brandon edits, mixes, and scores the show; Amanda manages our community and our digital life; and Michael archives, manual-checks, and cartographs our world. Special thanks to our creative consultants Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini and Heddy Hunt.

Michael: The party doesn’t stop here! The day after every episode comes out we publish the Afterparty, where we sit down to discuss what just happened and learn what could have happened. Send us your questions anytime.

Brandon: Join our community online by following @jointhepartypod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We’ve also got every episode up on our website, jointhepartypod.com; and you can email us questions or stories anytime at hello@jointhepartypod.com.

Amanda: If you’re enjoying this ride as much as we are, help the show out by subscribing to us in iTunes and leaving a quick rating. For even more Join the Party goodness, check out our Patreon. Just a few dollars will get you access to drawings, character backstories, bloopers, and so much more at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

Eric: We’ll see you in two weeks. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.